Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian man c1510 (see comments at link)
This is an excerpt from the article right below, by Kit Klarenberg (MUST READ). I picked this part because the story of 100s of bodies on the streets of Bucha is everywhere today. Only, the photos used are straight from the Ukraine goverment, and nobody fact checked them. What we do know is that the day before, the bodies were nowhere to be seen.
The role of the “embedded” Associated Press is also interesting.
Hours before the publication of this article, on April 2nd, claims of Russia’s most hideous alleged war crime to date erupted across social media. Footage and photos of scores of dead bodies – some with their hands tied – littering the streets of Bucha, a small city near Kiev, testified to an apparent massacre of military-aged men by Russian troops, as they retreated from the battered city two days earlier. The gruesome visuals have triggered intensified calls for direct Western military confrontation with Russia. But as with the incident at the maternity ward in Mariupol and numerous other high profile events initially portrayed by Ukrainian authorities as Russian massacres, a series of details cast doubt on the official story out of Bucha.
Within hours of Russia’s withdrawal from the Bucha on March 31st, its mayor announced that his city had been liberated from “Russian orcs,” employing a dehumanizing term widely used by Azov Battalion. An accompanying article noted the Russians had “mined civilian buildings and infrastructure,” but no mention was made of any mass killing of local citizens, let alone scores of corpses left in the street, which one might reasonably expect would be top of any news outlet’s agenda when reporting on the event. On April 2, within hours of the publication of photos and videos purporting to show victims of an alleged Russian massacre, Ukrainian media reported that specialist units had begun “clearing the area of saboteurs and accomplices of Russian troops.” Nothing was said about dead bodies in the streets.
The National Police of Ukraine announced that day that they were “cleaning the territory…from the assistants of Russian troops,” publishing video that showed no corpses in the streets of Bucha and Ukrainian forces in full control of the city.
Margaret Brennan of CBS admits that Zelensky's "team" handed her some photos/videos, and she's now going to broadcast them on TV with zero independent corroboration. Just openly purveying a foreign country's war propaganda. This is what's considered Real Journalism™ in the US pic.twitter.com/PCXZ11w2kR
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 3, 2022
Staged. An attempt to start WWII. Bucha is the next stage in that attempt. False flags everywhere.
• New Witness Testimony About Mariupol Maternity Hospital ‘Airstrike’ (GZ)
A key witness to the widely publicized incident at the Mariupol maternity hospital has punctured the official narrative of a Russian airstrike on the facility, and raised serious questions about Western media ethics. Meanwhile, news of a massacre in the city of Bucha contains suspicious elements. On March 9th, shocking news of a deliberate Russian airstrike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, began spreading widely via social media and news outlets. Fiery condemnation from Western officials, pundits, and journalists was immediate. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for his part, claimed the act was proof of the “genocide” Russia was perpetrating against the civilian population, and urged European leaders to condemn the “war crime” and “strengthen sanctions” to stop the Kremlin’s “evil” deeds in the country.
NPR suggested the attack was part of Russia’s “terrible wartime tradition” of purposefully targeting health facilities and medics during conflicts, dating back to Chechnya. But newly released testimony from one of the incident’s main witnesses punctures the official narrative about a targeted Russian airstrike on the hospital. The witness account indicates the hospital had been turned into a base of operations by Ukrainian military forces and was not targeted in an airstrike, as Western media claimed. Her testimony also raised serious questions about whether at least some elements of the event were staged for propaganda purposes – and with the cooperation of the Associated Press.
The new testimony (watch below) comes on the heels of evidence strongly suggesting that the destruction of a dramatic theater in Mariupol on March 16 was staged by the Azov Battalion, and that nearly all civilians had evacuated a day before. And as we will see below, new reports of a Russian massacre of scores of civilians in the town of Bucha also contain suspicious details suggesting a pattern of information manipulation aimed at triggering Western military intervention. Mariana Vishegirskaya, a pregnant resident of Donetsk who was present at the maternity hospital during the widely reported incident, has evacuated from Mariupol and is now speaking out. Photos showing a bloodied Vishnevskaya fleeing the building with her personal belongings became a centerpiece of coverage of the attack, along with a photo of another woman being carried away pale and unconscious on a stretcher.
In the wake of the incident, Russian officials falsely claimed the pair were the same person, citing Vishegirskaya’s background as a blogger and Instagram personality as evidence she was a crisis actor and the incident a false flag. Though that assertion was not true, as we shall see, the hospital had been almost completely taken over by the Ukrainian military.
Only part of this is due to Ukraine.
• German Retailers To Increase Food Prices By 20-50% On Monday (ZH)
Just days after Germany reported the highest inflation in generation (with February headline CPI soaring at a 7.6% annual pace and blowing away all expectations), giving locals a distinctly unpleasant deja vu feeling even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine broke what few supply chains remained and sent prices even higher into the stratosphere… … on Monday, Germany will take one step toward a return of the dreaded Weimar hyperinflation, when according to the German Retail Association (HDE), consumers should prepare for another wave of price hikes for everyday goods and groceries with Reuters reporting that prices at German retail chains will explode between 20 and 50%:
Even before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, prices had risen by about five per cent “across the product range” as a result of increased energy prices, HDE President Josef Sanktjohanser told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Friday. With Russia’s invasion hitting economies and the supply chain harder, yet another series of price increases is on the horizon. “The second wave of price increases is coming, and it will certainly be in double figures,” Sanktjohanser warned, cited by The Local. According to the president of the trade association, the first retail chains have already started to raise their prices in Germany – and the rest are likely to follow. “We will soon be able to see the impact of the war reflected in price labels across all the supermarkets,” said Sanktjohanser.
Recently, popular retail chains such as Aldi, Edeka and Globus announced that they would be forced to raise their prices. At Aldi, meat and butter will be “significantly more expensive” from Monday due to price hikes from its suppliers. “Since the start of the Ukraine war, there have been jumps in purchase prices that we have not experienced before,” a spokesperson for Aldi Nord announced on Friday. A fortnight ago, Aldi raised the prices of about 160 items, and a week later 20 more items became more expensive. Other supermarket brands quickly followed suit. In February, Germany’s cost of living rose at the highest level since reunification, with everyday goods increasing by an average of 7.3%. The federal statistics agency Destatis said the jump from January’s figure of 5.1 percent to February’s 7.3 percent reflected the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent the price of oil and gas soaring.
“..the Americans want the war to go on indefinitely, to “bog down” Moscow as if this was Afghanistan in the 1980s, and have strictly forbidden the Ukrainian Comedian in front of a green screen somewhere – certainly not Kiev – to accept any ceasefire or peace deal.”
• ‘Rublegas:’ The World’s New Resource-based Reserve Currency (Escobar)
Saddam, Gaddafi, Iran, Venezuela – they all tried but couldn’t do it. But Russia is on a different level altogether. The beauty of the game-changing, gas-for-rubles, geoeconomic jujitsu applied by Moscow is its stark simplicity. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s presidential decree on new payment terms for energy products, predictably, was misunderstood by the collective west. The Russian government is not exactly demanding straightforward payment for gas in rubles. What Moscow wants is to be paid at Gazprombank in Russia, in its currency of choice, and not at a Gazprom account in any banking institution in western capitals. That’s the essence of less-is-more sophistication. Gazprombank will sell the foreign currency – dollars or euros – deposited by their customers on the Moscow Stock Exchange and credit it to different accounts in rubles within Gazprombank.
What this means in practice is that foreign currency should be sent directly to Russia, and not accumulated in a foreign bank – where it can easily be held hostage, or frozen, for that matter. All these transactions from now on should be transferred to a Russian jurisdiction – thus eliminating the risk of payments being interrupted or outright blocked. It’s no wonder the subservient European Union (EU) apparatus – actively engaged in destroying their own national economies on behalf of Washington’s interests – is intellectually unequipped to understand the complex matter of exchanging euros into rubles. Gazprom made things easier this Friday, sending official notifications to its counterparts in the west and Japan. Putin himself was forced to explain in writing to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz how it all works.
Once again, very simple: Customers open an account with Gazprombank in Russia. Payments are made in foreign currency – dollars or euros – converted into rubles according to the current exchange rate, and transferred to different Gazprom accounts. Thus it is 100 percent guaranteed that Gazprom will be paid. That’s in stark contrast to what the United States was forcing the Europeans to do: pay for Russian gas in Gazprom accounts in Europe, which would then be instantly frozen. These accounts would only be unblocked with the end of Operation Z, Russia’s military ops in Ukraine. Yet the Americans want the war to go on indefinitely, to “bog down” Moscow as if this was Afghanistan in the 1980s, and have strictly forbidden the Ukrainian Comedian in front of a green screen somewhere – certainly not Kiev – to accept any ceasefire or peace deal.
So Gazprom accounts in Europe would continue to be frozen. As Scholz was still trying to understand the obvious, his economic minions went berserk, floating the idea of nationalizing Gazprom’s subsidiaries – Gazprom Germania and Wingas – in case Russia decides to halt the gas flow. This is ridiculous. It’s as if Berlin functionaries believe that Gazprom subsidiaries produce natural gas in centrally heated offices across Germany. The new rubles-for-gas mechanism does not in any way violate existing contracts. Yet, as Putin warned, existing contracts may indeed be stopped: “If such [ruble] payments are not made, we will consider this to be the buyers’ failure to perform commitments with all ensuing implications.”
“..if Russia begins to accept gold directly as a payment for oil, then this would be a new paradigm shift for the gold price as it would link the oil price directly to the gold price.”
• Russian Ruble Relaunched, Linked To Gold & Commodities (Manly)
By offering to buy gold from Russian banks at a fixed price of 5000 rubles per gram, the Bank of Russia has both linked the ruble to gold and, since gold trades in US dollars, set a floor price for the ruble in terms of the US dollar. We can see this linkage in action since Friday 25 March when the Bank of Russia made the fixed price announcement. The ruble was trading at around 100 to the US dollar at that time, but has since strengthened and is nearing 80 to the US dollar. Why? Because gold has been trading on international markets at about US$ 62 per gram which is equivalent to (5000 / 62) = about 80.5, and markets and arbitrage traders have now taken note, driving the RUB / USD exchange rate higher.
So the ruble now has a floor to the US dollars, in terms of gold. But gold also has a floor, so to speak, because 5000 rubles per gram is 155,500 rubles per troy ounce of gold, and with a RUB / USD floor of about 80, that’s a gold price of around $1940. And if the Western paper gold markets of LBMA / COMEX try to drive the US dollar gold price lower, they will have to try to weaken the ruble as well or else the paper manipulations will be out in the open. Additionally, with the new gold to ruble linkage, if the ruble continues to strengthen (for example due to demand created by obligatory energy payments in rubles), this will also be reflected in a stronger gold price.
What does this mean for Oil? Russia is the world’s largest natural gas exporter and the world’s third largest oil exporter. We are seeing right now that Putin is demanding that foreign buyers (importers of Russian gas) must pay for this natural gas using rubles. This immediately links the price of natural gas to rubles and (because of the fixed link to gold) to the gold price. So Russian natural gas is now linked via the ruble to gold. The same can now be done with Russian oil. If Russia begins to demand payment for oil exports with rubles, there will be an immediate indirect peg to gold (via the fixed price ruble – gold connection). Then Russia could begin accepting gold directly in payment for its oil exports. In fact, this can be applied to any commodities, not just oil and natural gas.
What does this mean for the Price of Gold? By playing both sides of the equation, i.e. linking the ruble to gold and then linking energy payments to the ruble, the Bank of Russia and the Kremlin are fundamentally altering the entire working assumptions of the global trade system while accelerating change in the global monetary system. This wall of buyers in search of physical gold to pay for real commodities could certainly torpedo and blow up the paper gold markets of the LBMA and COMEX. The fixed peg between the ruble and gold puts a floor on the RUB / USD rate but also a quasi-floor on the US dollar gold price. But beyond this, the linking of gold to energy payments is the main event. While increased demand for rubles should continue to strengthen the RUB / USD rate and show up as a higher gold price, due to the fixed ruble – gold linkage, if Russia begins to accept gold directly as a payment for oil, then this would be a new paradigm shift for the gold price as it would link the oil price directly to the gold price.
“We have such a victory it can be seen from the moon, but it’s sure that it can be seen from Brussels..”
I’d be careful about labeling them Pro-Putin. They’re just not pro-Brussels.
• 2 Pro-Putin Parties Win Avalanche Victories In European Elections (ZH)
In a one-two knockout punch for pro-Russia governments in Europe, on Sunday the government of Serbia’s pro-Russia president Aleksandar Vucic was headed for an avalanche victory in the country’s presidential election with nearly 60% of the vote, a big improvement to this 2017 election result… while Hungary’s Pro-Russia prime minister, Viktor Orban, was on track to clinch a fourth consecutive term, leveraging a message against being dragged into the war in neighboring Ukraine, to reassert himself as the European Union’s longest-serving premier. With roughly half of the vote counted, Orban’s Fidesz party led United for Hungary, a six-member opposition alliance, 57% to 32% in the party list contest, according to the National Election Office, with 63% of the votes counted. That would be sufficient for Fidesz to keep its two-thirds parliamentary majority.
Despite opinion polls forecasting a tighter race, Orban’s Fidesz party won comfortably across much of the country. Opposition leader Peter Marki-Zay even failed to win in his own district, where he had served as mayor. The far-right extremist Mi Hazank party won 6.3%, and was set to enter parliament, further diluting the power of the anti-Orban alliance. “We have such a victory it can be seen from the moon, but it’s sure that it can be seen from Brussels,” Orban said in his speech on Sunday night, making light of his government’s long-running tensions with EU leaders. “We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against a huge amount of opponents,” Orban said, citing a number of his political enemies including the Hungarian left, “bureaucrats” in Brussels, the international media, “and the Ukrainian president too — we never had so many opponents at the same time.”
The election campaign was dominated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which put Orban’s lengthy association with Russian President Vladimir Putin under scrutiny. In his victory speech, Orban called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky one of the “opponents” he had to overcome during the campaign. Orban’s unexpectedly strong victory defied polls ahead of the vote that had predicted Orban would face the toughest challenge to re-election in his 12 years in power, according to a report from the anti-Orban Bloomberg News. It almost makes one wonder why anyone – besides liberals of course – still uses polling, which obviously can’t forecast the future and also fails at mere propaganda and influencing election turnouts.
#Hungary's PM Viktor #Orbán has declared victory in the national election, claiming a mandate for a 4th term: 'The whole world has seen tonight in Budapest that Christian democratic politics, conservative civic politics & patriotic politics have won.' https://t.co/cPJv1MTBG8 pic.twitter.com/VHR6WwGR7K
— Geopolitics & Empire (@Geopolitics_Emp) April 4, 2022
History lesson: “..he would frequently refer to the Russians as redskins..”
• Russia And Serbia Are Projected To Become The Empire’s White Colonies (Antonic)
In this article I will present the various plans that Germany had with the Serbs and Russians after the expected victory in World War II. Why do I fall back to history? We frequently perceive Hitler and Nazism as an aberration in Western history. But Hitler was, in fact, just openly announcing that in Europe he will do what the West has already done elsewhere. As we’ll see, Hitler took the extermination of the Native Americans as a model for the colonization of Slavic lands, Russia in particular. “It would be best if Serbia just disappeared from the map” —as attested by Hermann Neubacher, that opinion was prevalent within the German leadership in 1941 (see here, p. 89). But we find the same opinion in The Manchester Guardian (as The Guardian was formerly called), in August 1914: “If it were physically possible for Servia to be towed out to sea and sunk there, the air of Europe would at once seem cleaner” (here; here, p. 53).
Actually, the only difference between Hitler and the English was Hitler’s brutally proclaiming to do—and he had done as much as he could—what others in the West were doing slower and more subtly, the things they didn’t yet dare to undertake or weren’t able to accomplish. Unlike the Kaiser, who wanted territorial expansion towards the Middle East and a redistribution of African and Asian colonies, Hitler’s primary goal was to colonize Slavic lands, from the Baltic to the Black Sea for starters and then onward to the Urals. In Mein Kampf he writes that the Kaiser was mistaken in pushing Germany southwards. “When in today’s Europe we speak of new soil and land”, he wrote, “we primarily mean only Russia and the peripheral countries subservient to her. It appears that destiny itself wants to show us the way. […]
The giant Empire in the East is ripe for its downfall.” (here; 44th unabridged German edition, p. 742-3; compare here, p. 118) By the way, Hitler had adopted many concepts from the West. As J. Q. Whitman revealed in Hitlerºs American Model (2017), race laws in the United States were the legal inspiration for the race laws in the Third Reich. In his book Hitler: The Definitive Biography (2014), John Toland showed how impressed Hitler had been with the system of Indian Reservations, the extermination of the indigenous peoples, the epidemics and starvation policies. According to Toland, when speaking to the German leaders, the Fuhrer frequently “extolled the efficacy of the American extermination of the ‘red savages’ by starvation and in unequal combat” (here, p. 802).
“As a passionate reader of Karl May’s novels”, writes John Pool in his book Hitler and His Secret Partners (1997), “he would frequently refer to the Russians as redskins. He saw a parallel between his own efforts to occupy and colonize Russia and the conquest of the American West” (p. 272). He used to say that in the European East the Germans “had one single purpose: Germanization by peopling with Germans and treating the locals as redskins”. He even encouraged military officers to read Karl May and learn about all kinds of combat with the natives.
“Within days, everything changed.”
• Fauci’s United Front Is Collapsing (Tucker)
Last week, medical journalist Katherine Eban posted at Vanity Fair the results of a long and detailed investigation into the lab-leak theory of the origins of SARS-CoV-2. The subject is moving ever more to the front-and-center of efforts to find out exactly what was going on at the highest levels in early 2020 that resulted in the greatest societal, political, and economic upheaval of our lives. How precisely did we move so quickly from the “germ games” of October 2019 – when the virus was already circulating in the US – to full-scale global lockdown by March? Why did Anthony Fauci, who in early February was downplaying the seriousness of the virus, flip to the other side (which we know from emails)?
It was Fauci, according to many reporters, who tapped Deborah Birx to huddle with Trump and convince him that the only way to battle the virus was to “shut down” the economy – as if anything like that was possible much less effective for controlling a respiratory virus. For two years now, and despite endless writing and reflection, this change from the top has puzzled me. Lockdowns contradicted not only a century of public-health practice but even WHO guidelines. Even on March 2, 2020, 850 scientists signed a letter to the White House warning against lockdowns, closures, and travel restrictions. Within days, everything changed. There were hints of extreme measures in the CDC pandemic planning manuals since 2006 but the idea was hardly orthodoxy in the profession.
It’s also true that there were elite scientists who longed for the chance to try out the new theory of virus suppression. But how did Fauci and Birx, to say nothing of Jared Kushner, become converts of the idea to the point that they were able to convince Trump to betray everything he believed in? This is quite probably where the lab-leak theory comes in. It’s not so much about whether the virus was an accidental or even deliberate leak that matters so much as whether Fauci, Francis Collins, and Jeremy Farrrar of the UK’s Wellcome Trust believed it was possible or even likely. In that case, we have our motive. Did they deploy the chaos of lockdowns as a genuine if wildly misguided attempt to suppress the virus as a way of avoiding culpability?
Or perhaps it was deployed as a kind of smokescreen to distract from a closer examination of the Wuhan’s lab’s funding sources? Or possibly there is a third reason. We have a very long way to go before the full truth is out. But Eban’s article adds tremendous detail about the great lengths to which our Fauci-led cabal of officials worked hard to suppress dissent on the question of lab-vs-natural origin. They kept papers from being posted on preprint servers, held Zoom sessions with authors in an attempt to intimidate them, and spent tremendous energy making it clear that there would be a no-leak “united front” no matter what.
We hide it, but don’t delete.
• NIH Admits it ‘Suppressed’ Wuhan Lab Data, Disputes ‘Deleted’ Label (ET)
A National Institutes for Health (NIH) spokesperson is disputing a nonprofit watchdog group’s claim that the agency “deleted” genetic sequencing data on the CCP virus from a Chinese lab, but the same official acknowledged the data was “suppressed.” “The headline says the sequences were deleted which is inaccurate. They were not deleted. This is a really important point, and I’ve highlighted what did happen from what we provided to you earlier this week,” NIH Media Branch Chief Amanda Fine told The Epoch Times in a March 31 email. Fine was referring to a March 29 Epoch Times story headlined “NIH Deleted Info Received From Wuhan Lab on CCP Virus Genetic Sequencing, Watchdog’s FOIA Finds.” The information Fine referenced as having been provided to The Epoch Times by NIH earlier in the week was included in the published story:
“’In June 2020, in response to a request by the same [Wuhan] researcher, National Center for Biotechnology [NCBI] gave the sequence data the status of “withdrawn,” which removes sequencing data from all public means of access but does not delete them. “‘NCBI subsequently reassigned the status of the sequence data to “suppressed,” which means that sequence data are removed from the search process but can be directly found by accession number. This action to reassign the data was identified as part of NLM’s ongoing review into the matter. We are working to make more information available,’ the spokesperson said.” The biotechnology center, which is part of the institute’s National Library of Medicine (NLM), is the U.S. component of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration.
The Epoch Times story was prompted by a report published on March 29 by Empower Oversight Whistleblowers and Research (EO) that was based on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) responses the group received from the institute. “On June 5, 2020, a Wuhan University researcher requested that NIH retract the researcher’s submission of BioProject ID PRJNA637497 because of error. The Wuhan researcher explained ‘I’m sorry for my wrong submitting,’” Empower Oversight said in a statement (pdf) on March 29. “BioProject ID PRJNA637497 is also referred to as Submission-ID SUB7554642. Three days later, on June 8th, the NIH declined the researcher’s request, advising that it prefers to edit or replace, as opposed to delete, sequences submitted to the SRA,” EO reported. SRA refers to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) data resource made available by NCBI, and it “stores raw sequencing data.”
“His counsellors view the Ukraine crisis as a blunt instrument that nonetheless may help the president to dig himself out of his electoral hole.”
• Joe Biden Should Be Removed Before Putin, US Poll Says (Exp.)
Just a week after the US president was accused of making a gaffe calling for regime change in Russia, an exclusive poll for the Sunday Express has revealed Americans would rather see his presidency end. Asked which would be better for America, 52 per cent chose “Biden loses power in the US” over 43 per cent for “Putin loses power in Russia”. The findings, in the poll by the Washington-based Democracy Institute, show almost two-thirds of Americans (62 per cent) believe Mr Biden will not be re-elected in 2024. They also appear to confirm an expected bid by Donald Trump in 2024 will see him sweep back to power. While Boris Johnson has seen a rise in public support for his handling of the Ukraine crisis, the error prone US president has not enjoyed a similar bounce.
Of 1,500 polled, who all identify as “likely voters”, 57 per cent disapprove of his presidency, the same as a month ago, while just 39 per cent approve of it. And 70 per cent believe the US is “heading in the wrong direction”. His handling of the war is only approved by 40 per cent while 52 per cent disapprove, and his overall foreign policy has a 55 per cent disapproval rating compared to 42 per cent approval. While a Techne poll for the Sunday Express showed almost a third of UK voters had Ukraine as their top concern, in the US just eight per cent saw it as their main issue, with the key worry being inflation. If Mr Trump does run in 2024, according to the US poll results he would beat Mr Biden by 48 per cent to 43 per cent.
Patrick Basham, Director of the Democracy Institute, said: “Biden’s foreign policy debacles, highlighted by America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, have turned off voters, who mostly disapprove of his handling of America’s global role. “Biden’s political team knows economic pain will continue to weigh down the president’s ratings. So, it puts great stock in Biden’s handling of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “His counsellors view the Ukraine crisis as a blunt instrument that nonetheless may help the president to dig himself out of his electoral hole. “Should the Ukraine crisis end on terms perceived to be favourable to the Ukrainians, and should Vladimir Putin’s Russia be put back in her box, it’s possible that Biden will receive considerable credit and his ratings will improve. If that happens, his party’s candidates may also improve their positions vis-à-vis their Republican opponents.
“While many media figures now willingly admit the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s abandoned-laptop story, they are avoiding what the emails found on that laptop actually contain.”
• Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense Of Hunter (Turley)
“We absolutely stand by the president’s comment.” With those words, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield reaffirmed that President Biden maintains his son Hunter Biden did “nothing [that] was unethical” and never “made money” in China. Those claims appear demonstrably false — and they make the positions of both the media and Attorney General Merrick Garland absolutely untenable. For the media, the ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden by U.S. Attorney David Weiss in Delaware has presented a growing danger of self-indictment over its prior coverage (or noncoverage). Weiss has called a long line of witnesses before a grand jury, and there is growing expectation of criminal charges against Hunter Biden. Nothing concentrates the mind as much as a looming indictment.
Thus, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other media faced the embarrassing prospect of an indictment based on a story they previously suggested was either a nonstory or Russian disinformation. Suddenly, in recent days, they all rushed to declare the story legitimate, 18 months after the New York Post reported it in October 2020. What quickly emerged, though, was a new narrative: None of this implicates President Biden. On CNN, White House correspondent John Harwood declared, “There is zero evidence that Vice President Biden, or President Biden, has done anything wrong in connection with what Hunter Biden has done.” Anchor Brianna Keilar then added for emphasis that Harwood was making “an important distinction.”
It was important, but not because it was true. While many media figures now willingly admit the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s abandoned-laptop story, they are avoiding what the emails found on that laptop actually contain. Hundreds of emails appear to detail a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling enterprise by the Biden family, including Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden. Influence peddling has long been the way Washington’s elite enriches itself. This common source of political corruption involves the relatives of powerful government figures who shake down corporations or countries for access and influence. The Bidens would seem to be standouts in this common practice, engaging in a virtual family business. James Biden has been accused of marketing his connection to his brother.
And in the emails discovered on his abandoned laptop, Hunter Biden practically sold timeshares of his father by dangling meetings and dinners for investors. The key in any influence peddling scheme is to protect the principal. People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.” Instead, the emails apparently refer to President Biden with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm; other emails reportedly refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes.
ABC must have received marching orders. Time to start the Biden take down. pic.twitter.com/MIbPmug6ww
— James Hirsen (@thejimjams) April 3, 2022
But doesn’t know what for yet.
• Biden Wants Attorney General Garland to Prosecute Trump (Turley)
President Joe Biden has declared the guilt of individuals or promised punishment before even the commencement of investigations. The latest such example is the leaking of Biden’s desire to have Attorney General Merrick Garland prosecute Trump. [..] Biden is now being widely reported as wanting Garland to prosecute Trump. His close associates made sure that the media reported that the President wants “Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action over the events of Jan. 6.” This leak was made after a district court judge declared that Trump likely committed a crime, an opinion that I recently criticized over its sweeping language and spotty analysis. Various Democrats are demanding that Garland prosecute Trump, telling Garland to “step up or step out.”
Two years ago, the media heralded the statements of D.C. Attorney General Racine that he was pursuing possible charges. Yet, neither Racine nor the Biden Administration have charged Trump. Why? The reason is that there is not clear evidence of a crime. The leaking of the President’s demand puts Garland in an even more difficult position. The clear intent of the leak is to let Garland know what the President expects from him. Yet, Garland has already been criticized by some of us for refusing to appoint a special counsel in the Hunter Biden scandal. What is most striking, however, is the absence of any concern from the same legal experts who denounced such statements from Trump. These are statements made to aides that were then leaked to the media to get to Garland.
That allows the media to say that Biden never said it directly to Garland, but the message was delivered by the media. For Garland to yield to such pressure would constitute a troubling departure from his predecessor, Bill Barr, who refused to do so on investigations ranging from the Mueller investigation to the election investigation to the Hunter Biden investigation. Absent new evidence of direct culpability, such a prosecution would likely result in either acquittal or an appellate reversal. That would raise concerns over the Justice Department pursuing a political rather than a legal agenda — the very danger that Garland pledged to avoid when he stressed “I am not the president’s lawyer. I am the United States’ lawyer.”
Coco Chanel. Another history lesson.
• From Maria’s Office … the Fashion Nazi (Zakharova)
A few bloggers have reported today that official Chanel brand stores abroad are refusing to sell their products to Russian nationals. Allegedly, Chanel customers must sign a form saying that they will not take the items sold by the brand to the Russian Federation, as per some internal document of the boutique chain. We are a very patient and forgiving country. We have forgiven everyone for everything, turned the page and cleared the way for the future. But if the way turns out to be a ring road, we will break the vicious circle. Seems like those running the legacy of the “great Coco” have found a way to join the Russophobic “cancel Russia” campaign. Weird, right? What’s the link between Russia’s anti-Nazi operation and the French fashion house? But the link is there. We just opened a closet to find some well-preserved 80-year-old skeletons.
During World War II, Coco Chanel herself was a collaborator and a Third Reich agent. She is widely known to have had connections to the occupation authorities in France. Baron Hans Guenther Freiherr von Dincklage, an attaché of the German government in charge of the Nazi propaganda in Paris, was among her dearest friends. Coco Chanel, also known as informer F-7124 as per Abwehr records, supported the German masters of Paris so much that she took part in the attempts to organise secret negotiations between the Reich and the United Kingdom. One should say that the Germans valued Coco and had her live in a luxurious apartment at the Ritz hotel, while ordinary Parisians struggled to make ends meet under the German occupation, while the country’s economy was under enormous strain.
Moreover, the fashion designer accepted the help of the Nazis to reach her business goals. Before the war, she sold her Chanel No. 5 production facility to Jewish manufacturers. Then, she engaged the Germans to try and reclaim the rights to the perfume sale profits. After France was liberated, she was called to answer for all of that. The fashion house does not advertise it but Coco was arrested at the end of the war. She was later released as a favour to Churchill (and here is London again) and was banned from France after the occupation was over, for years, residing in the “neutral” Switzerland. The brand’s management has always emphasised that the Chanel house traditions are as strong as ever. Well, no doubt about that now. Investigative reporter Hal Vaughan wrote about the founder of the fashion house: “The Nazis were in power, and Chanel gravitated to power.”
The brand was never bothered by such things as concentration camps, mass killings and war crimes perpetrated by the SS and Gestapo divisions. We are a very patient and forgiving country. We have forgiven everyone for everything, turned the page and cleared the way for the future. But if the way turns out to be a ring road, we will break the vicious circle. And the Chanel house can get back to square one and support Nazism, just like its founder did. But now everyone will know.
.@RepBuddyCarter calls marijuana a gateway drug, but his pharmacy was a gateway to addiction. From 2006 to 2014, Carter’s pharmacy sold 2,876,010 opioid pills. The population of Pooler, GA in 2014 was 20,646.https://t.co/UjZmJLEA17
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